Discover and share good practice for smarter working universities

Professional services


Image provided by Teesside University

North east universities to benefit from £750m construction agreement

Collaborative procurement on construction for universities in the north east of England has been made easier with a £750m framework agreement, the first of its scale in the UK. Greg Barnes, who worked on the agreement for the North Eastern Universities Procurement Consortium (NEUPC), describes its benefits and lessons learned while putting it together.

How collaboration between procurement and estates is delivering value for money

With universities spending billions on estates, the relationship between estates and procurement services is key. Three members of the Southern Universities Purchasing Consortium have described how their institutions are building closer relationships between these two departments, which are delivering savings and better value for money.

Why we must plan now for the university landscape in 20 years’ time 

Universities should already be thinking about how to accommodate the student who will arrive at their campus in 20 years time, a former US policy adviser tells the Guardian. In an interview for the Higher Education network, Karen Gross warns that planning for the future is like chess, "If you don't think five moves ahead, you’re behind."
Richard III coffin

The king in the car park: managing a story that gripped the world

Universities dream of the blockbusting discovery that will print their name in the history books. In 2013, that day arrived for the University of Leicester when it discovered and identified the body of the mythical Richard III. Ather Mirza reflects on how the spine-tingling discovery was revealed to the world through a sophisticated plan of media engagement.

Why blockchain could be the future in knowledge procurement

More applications are emerging for blockchain - a formerly obscure technology that underpins the digital currency Bitcoin. Nick Petford, chair of the Procurement UK forum and vice chancellor of the University of Northampton, is excited about its potential for procurement.

10 years of safe single sign-on access

Single sign-on access has made logging in to multiple academic resource sites much easier and more secure. Mark Williams toasts 10 years of safer researching.

Case studies

Achieving sustainability: Imperial College London – March 2013

A priority for Imperial College London is to generate the required margin for sustainability - approximately £100m a year. It aims to do this by maintaining a flat base in staffing costs, growing core areas of research income and nurturing a culture of equipment sharing.

Better teacher recruitment – Loughborough University – case study – March 2016

Loughborough University’s change team reviewed processes relating to the recruitment and payment of part-time university teachers on an hourly rate. The information needed for the university HR systems is now gathered once from the university teacher to be used in multiple places with claims are now online rather than on paper.

Cloud services – Kindura – case study – June 2013

Project to pilot a hybrid cloud, shared service and in-house model for providing repository-focused services to researchers across partner institutions.
Photocredit: Simon Veit-Wilson
Newcastle University's Information Team (photo credit: Simon Veit-Wilson )